After decades of working to better his native Charleston and South Carolina at large, James Julian “Jimmy” Bailey was awarded the Governor of South Carolina’s highest honor for civilians. The SC Order of the Palmetto recognizes an individual’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the state of South Carolina.
An intimate ceremony was held on Saturday morning, December 16th, to celebrate Bailey’s achievements. Family and friends spoke about Bailey and his contributions to his community, showcasing his evolution from humble beginnings into a man committed to bettering the lives of those around him. Bailey’s mantra that “people can achieve great success given the tools and the chance” has been the catalyst for many of his accomplishments, including his establishment of YEScarolina, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching entrepreneurship to empower today’s youth to become tomorrow’s business leaders. To date, YEScarolina has trained and certified over 1,000 South Carolina teachers, impacting the lives of tens of thousands of young South Carolinians through entrepreneurship.
One of those students, Jasmine Adams, most recently took home first place at the nation’s top competition for youth entrepreneurship. Adams thanked Bailey and spoke of her YEScarolina experience, and how the program changed her life by giving her the tools she needed to continue operating her business after she graduated. YEScarolina founding member Tommy Baker spoke of his close friend’s tenacity in getting the organization off the ground, and of his commitment to service and giving back long after his retirement as a three-term elected SC State House Representative. Mayor John Tecklenburg lauded Bailey for his ability to take the principles of economic opportunity and social inclusivity beyond the barriers of political parties, to make an impactful difference in his community. Bobby Harrell, who served as Speaker of the SC House of Representatives, spoke of Bailey’s influence on him during his earliest days as Chairman of his Freshman Caucus. Bailey’s son, James Julian Bailey, Jr, read a letter from former Mayor Joe Riley, thanking him for the work he’s done for Charleston’s citizens. Charleston County’s former Register of Mesne Conveyance Charlie Lybrand hosted the ceremony, praising Bailey not only for his work, but also for his dedication to his family, many of whom were in attendance.
Among Bailey’s other achievements are the five years he served as a football coach at Hazel Parker playground. He has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, as chairman of the City of Charleston Recreation Department, as co-chairman of the United Negro College Fund Drive, as chairman of the Local Development Corporation, as a member of the City Planning and Zoning Commission, as a member on the City Board of Adjustment, as one of first members of The S.C. Education Lottery Commission, as a member of The South Carolina Review Board for Excellence, as Chairman of The S.C. Grants Review Board, and as Chairman of The Charleston Memorial Firemen’s Commission.
Jimmy Bailey continues to serve his community and state in Charleston, SC, where he lives with his wife Gail, his two children and his grandchildren.
Read about YEScarolina’s history here.